I stand with a small golf bag slung
over my shoulder, my 96
ROCK hat pulled low, shielding
the bright Florida sun.
I am seven, out with my dad
chasing this small white
ball up and down the fairway
while he hits mulligans, calibrates
his swing. He wants me to be
the next Nancy Lopez. I just want
to spend time with him, would never
actually say I don’t like playing,
watching, talking about it
for hours on end. All too soon,
his handicap won’t refer
to his game but to the night
my mother found him on the floor,
the aftermath, the constant
tallying of the effort it takes
to get from one hazard to
the next. My father is away,
furthest from the hole, choosing
between iron and wood.
Copyright © 2015 Stacey Lynn Brown. Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner. Used with permission of Prairie Schooner.